By Josh Alston for Daily Mail Australia

22:18 May 09, 2023, updated 22:18 May 09, 2023

  • In March he lost his mother to breast cancer
  • Has taken time off from sports
  • Shows how grief has changed him

Pat Cummins has told football icon Rio Ferdinand he’s a changed man since the death of his mother.

He has kept a low profile since Maria Cummins lost her battle with breast cancer in March, which is difficult when you captain Australia cricket team.

Cummins was forced to leave his team midway through the Test series against India to be by his ailing mother’s side in her final hours, pulling himself from his $1.3million Indian Premier League contract with him back to the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Cummins posted this touching picture with his proud mother Maria after her death and decided to honor her with this candid moment on social media
Maria was an enthusiastic grandmother
She was also a loving mother

However, an Ashes streak is emerging and Cummins is committed to both his country and himself.

So the Aussie Test skipper has emerged from his private grief and hopes he can use the pain that haunts him every day to help others.

Not only has Cummins been transformed by the death of his mother, but also by the birth of his first child, Albie, who is now 18 months old, and the responsibilities of being a parent.

Cummins has always wanted to make a difference with his life by addressing climate change and helping cricket clubs convert their operations to solar power.

Now he feels obligated to make that difference for the inevitable day when his son asks him what he’s made of his life.

So Cummins pulled itself together and signed up as an ambassador for new social media platform WeAre8, a platform that aims to create real ecological differences around the world.

As part of his duties, Cummins was asked to interview Rio Ferdinand, who lost his mother six years ago.

Cummins smiled in a rare public appearance for his interview with Premier League greats Rio Ferdinand
The smile quickly faded, however, and the pain Cummins carries came to the surface when the conversation turned to his mother’s death
Cummins has always been a family man, pictured here in happier days with his mother Maria and sisters Laura and Kara
Cummins grew up as a country boy on a farm with Peter and Maria Cummins and his siblings Laura, Kara, Tim and Matt

The interview started out like most others, general babble, big smiles, heartfelt conversation.

But when Ferdinand asked about Maria, there was a noticeable change in Cummins as his lower lip trembled slightly and his eyes glazed over.

“I speak to a lot of people […] People who have similar stories,” he says quietly.

“Knowing them sharing how they dealt with it and going through it helped me kind of rationalize it.

“If I can help some other people by talking about it, I might do that.

“I’ve been really bad in the past, a couple of mates have been through some things and just didn’t know what was going on and weren’t there to talk about it.

“Now as I go through it I realize how hard it is and unfortunately how common it can be.”

“It’s something I’ll keep working on and hopefully I can help some others.”

Cummins has leaned heavily on family to help with his recovery.

Cummins returned home from the Test tour of India to be by his mother’s side in her final days but will return to the squad for the forthcoming Ashes tour of England
The skipper has always made time to give back to young cricket fans but has had to spend the last two months working on himself
Cummins has realized how precious life is following the death of his mother and the birth of his first child, Albie, with wife Becky (pictured together).

Spending time with his brothers Tim and Matt, sisters Kara and Laura and father Peter has been a cathartic time for sharing stories and remembering all the good times they had with Maria.

“It’s still pretty raw right now, but over the past few months I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to spend a lot of time with Mom, us kids and Dad and share all of these memories,” Cummins said.

“I think it really hits the kind of person you want to be, the kind of father you want to be.

“It’s been pretty good from that side, lots of memories, but in terms of grief, I think you’re continuing to work on that.”

During his sabbatical from cricket, Cummins had to find ways to re-energize himself in preparation for battling the old foe in The Ashes.

So he drew on the past and revealed there was a time in his career when he felt broken and lost to the sport.

“I played straight for a year or two, that was about four or five years ago when I just came back from an injury,” he said.

“I was just exhausted, burned out.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Gosh, I’m 25, if I’m going to do this by the time I’m 35, I’ve got to find a way to juggle all these different things.’

“So I retired, spent time with family and friends, went to the farm, got coffee on the beach.

“I graduated from university, these things I find give me energy. So when I go and play cricket I can tune in a little bit more.

Cummins emulated that time of his life earlier this year to help with his recovery.

Spending time on his ‘fake farm’ with his wife Becky and their son, he enjoys simple pleasures like coffee on Sydney Beach and opens up to spending time with family and friends.

“For the past few years, you’ve just tried to hug each other every day.

Cummins and his wife Becky bought a farm in rural New South Wales where they enjoy spending time with baby Albie
Becky and Albie are regularly around the Australian cricket team to be alongside Pat
Cummins wants to spend as much time with his son as possible and has enjoyed his time away from cricket to be able to do that

“He’s changing every day and you don’t want to miss a minute.

“So now I’m really precious with my time.

“I always have to kind of remind myself that it’s not forever like there’s going to be a day when I don’t miss all the weddings or you know Christmas and stuff.

“I love my job, so it’s not ideal, but it’s part of it. It’s important to love your job and love what you do.”


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